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Category: Remarks, Messages, & Writings

Editorial by Chancellor Straney in Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Preparing students for the future

An editorial by University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney was published today in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Island Voices” section:


UH Hilo anticipating job trends to prepare students for future
By Donald Straney
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 14, 2012

The Associated Press recently reported a disturbing challenge facing new college graduates: They are being forced to take low-wage positions in a dismal job market. Prospects for good employment have fallen to the lowest level in a decade, and young adults with bachelor degrees are increasingly “scraping by” in low-wage jobs.

“Only three of the 30 occupations with the largest projected number of job openings by 2020 will require a bachelor’s degree or higher to fill the position — teachers, college professors and accountants,” said the report, based on an analysis of national data.

National trends are not always reflective of individual states. A report by Complete College America states that by 2020, 68 percent of jobs in Hawai‘i will require a career certificate or college degree, but currently only 41 percent of adults have a college degree. By the end of this decade, then, we’ll need to increase the number of college graduates to fill these positions. We simply will not have enough skilled workers to meet the needs of our economy without many more college graduates.

We at the University of Hawai‘i are keenly aware that our state needs a professional workforce to fill the urgent skills gap in a number of fields. They include business and teaching, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

UH is preparing students in these fields. For example, one of the most urgent challenges locally is in rural health care. Four of the most recently approved degrees at UH Hilo are in health care, including a doctor of nursing practice program, which will start in August 2012.

Studies show job opportunities are often greater for graduates with degrees in science, education and health fields. While that may be true, degrees in humanities, social sciences and related fields are viable pathways to careers in Hawai‘i. We live in a place that values art, music, dance, writing, language, teaching, culture revitalization and other humanities fields — and there are jobs in these sectors.

For example, graduates from UH Hilo’s performing arts program find good jobs as teachers, managers, performers, directors and producers. Graduates from our Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language become teachers in immersion schools, radio personalities, community college instructors, and recording artists. ‘Aha Pūnana Leo, a Hilo-based and nationally recognized nonprofit model for Native American language revitalization programs, is staffed by many graduates of this college.

Valuable experience comes via hands-on learning in internships, collaborative research with professors, and community service. Members of UH Hilo’s Model United Nations Team, for example, have gone on to law school and become attorneys. The team competes annually in national competition and this year captured the highest honor as Outstanding Delegation.

Our nation desperately needs more well-paying jobs for college graduates. UH Hilo is a step ahead of the trends, preparing students now for the future. Our nursing, teaching, computer science, pharmaceutical sciences and other key programs are strong and growing. Interdisciplinary STEM programs — astronomy, math, chemistry, biology and more — make our graduates much more flexible in taking advantage of limited opportunities. Our humanities disciplines are in sync with Hawai‘i’s need for professionals in culture and the arts, language, and communications. Internships, research projects, and community projects give graduates the experience and connections that get them noticed and hired.

Our kuleana, or responsibility, is to improve the quality of life of the people of Hawai‘i, the Pacific region and the world. The national trends on diminishing employment opportunities are disturbing, but we are working hard to counter those trends to create a productive future for our island and state.

———
Donald Straney is chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

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Column by the Chancellor in UH Hilo’s Newsletter: Ka Lono Hanakahi, May 2012

Message from University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Ka Lono Hanakahi, UH Hilo’s Faculty and Staff Newsletter
May 2012

Fostering educational opportunities for a robust rural health care system

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s mission is to challenge students to reach their highest level of academic achievement by inspiring learning, discovery and creativity inside and outside the classroom. Our kuleana, or responsibility, is to improve the quality of life of the people of Hawai‘i, the Pacific region, and the world.

One of the most urgent needs of our local community is in the area of rural health care. To answer this crisis—which includes a dire shortage of health care professionals—UH Hilo is developing and sponsoring myriad educational, support, and outreach programs.

For example, four of the most recently approved degrees at UH Hilo are in health care, including a doctor of nursing practice program. The DNP has been approved by the UH Board of Regents and by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The program will begin August 2012 for post-baccalaureate students and will be open to post-master students in August 2013.

To support UH Hilo undergraduate students interested in receiving a doctor of pharmacy from the university’s College of Pharmacy, there is a mentoring program for up to five students per year. The Steps Towards Excellence in Pharmacy program, or STEP, is an intensive, three-year scholarly preparatory program to address underserved students’ educational, social and economic needs. Mentoring is in the form of advising and learning specialists, as well as support from faculty members in the pre-pharmacy program.

The STEP program is modeled after the successful Imi Ho‘ola Program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at UH Mānoa. Priority is given to applicants with strong ties to the state of Hawai‘i and US-affiliated Pacific islands, and students who successfully complete the STEP program are ensured a seat in the College of Pharmacy. This type of bridge program creates a pathway for local students to reach their academic goals so they can receive an advanced degree and then dedicate their professional lives to helping their communities. This is a program that has the potential to change the lives of many families in Hawai‘i.

This month, the UH Hilo School of Nursing will sponsor the “Pūlama I Ke Ola Healthcare Conference” for professionals, which also includes a youth program to inspire high school students to pursue a career in health care. Speakers and discussions will focus on current research and clinical practices integrating holistic health concepts to improve health care on our island. Special attention will be placed on health care issues impacting the health of people living in multi-cultural milieu in Hawai‘i and throughout the world. The program will provide updates on current issues and trends affecting health care, and those attending the youth program will have the opportunity to interact with health care clinicians on an informal basis that engenders a meaningful learning experience.

UH Hilo seeks to reflect Hawai‘i, its people, history, cultures, and natural environment, and to embody the concept of a “Hawaiian university.” As a member of the UH System, we embrace our responsibility to serve the indigenous people of Hawai‘i and to kāko‘o or support Hawai‘i’s indigenous language and culture. This responsibility also extends to our efforts in strengthening our rural health care and health care system.

For example, in July, Nā Pua No‘eau, a statewide organization based at UH Hilo aimed at raising the educational achievements of Native Hawaiian children throughout the state, will be hosting the “Learning Opportunities in Medicine Institute,” a two-week residential program held on the UH Hilo campus. Hawaiian students in grades 7-12 from around the state will engage in hands-on field experiences, cultural activities, and personal development designed to show how they can make a difference in their community’s health care system. A Native Hawaiian component will be integrated in all the classes to provide students with Hawaiian role models, culture, values, history, protocol, and language. Speakers will include experts in the fields of medicine and health care from UH Hilo’s College of Pharmacy and Department of Nursing, the John A. Burns School of Medicine Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence, and the Health Careers Opportunity Program.

These are just a few examples of the way UH Hilo is fostering educational opportunities for a robust rural health care system and revitalized local economy.

For more updates about UH Hilo, visit my blog.

Aloha,
Don Straney

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Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: May 2012

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce

May 2012

Fostering educational opportunities for a robust rural health care system

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s mission is to challenge students to reach their highest level of academic achievement by inspiring learning, discovery and creativity inside and outside the classroom. Our kuleana, or responsibility, is to improve the quality of life of the people of Hawai‘i, the Pacific region, and the world.

One of the most urgent needs of our local community is in the area of rural health care. To answer this crisis—which includes a dire shortage of health care professionals—UH Hilo is developing and sponsoring myriad educational, support, and outreach programs.

For example, four of the most recently approved degrees at UH Hilo are in health care, including a doctor of nursing practice program. The DNP has been approved by the UH Board of Regents and by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The program will begin August 2012 for post-baccalaureate students and will be open to post-master students in August 2013.

To support UH Hilo undergraduate students interested in receiving a doctor of pharmacy from the university’s College of Pharmacy, there is a mentoring program for up to five students per year. The Steps Towards Excellence in Pharmacy program, or STEP, is an intensive, three-year scholarly preparatory program to address underserved students’ educational, social and economic needs. Mentoring is in the form of advising and learning specialists, as well as support from faculty members in the pre-pharmacy program.

The STEP program is modeled after the successful Imi Ho‘ola Program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at UH Mānoa. Priority is given to applicants with strong ties to the state of Hawai‘i and US-affiliated Pacific islands, and students who successfully complete the STEP program are ensured a seat in the College of Pharmacy. This type of bridge program creates a pathway for local students to reach their academic goals so they can receive an advanced degree and then dedicate their professional lives to helping their communities. This is a program that has the potential to change the lives of many families in Hawai‘i.

This month, the UH Hilo School of Nursing will sponsor the “Pūlama I Ke Ola Healthcare Conference” for professionals, which also includes a youth program to inspire high school students to pursue a career in health care. Speakers and discussions will focus on current research and clinical practices integrating holistic health concepts to improve health care on our island. Special attention will be placed on health care issues impacting the health of people living in multi-cultural milieu in Hawai‘i and throughout the world. The program will provide updates on current issues and trends affecting health care, and those attending the youth program will have the opportunity to interact with health care clinicians on an informal basis that engenders a meaningful learning experience.

UH Hilo seeks to reflect Hawai‘i, its people, history, cultures, and natural environment, and to embody the concept of a “Hawaiian university.” As a member of the UH System, we embrace our responsibility to serve the indigenous people of Hawai‘i and to kāko‘o or support Hawai‘i’s indigenous language and culture. This responsibility also extends to our efforts in strengthening our rural health care and health care system.

For example, in July, Nā Pua No‘eau, a statewide organization based at UH Hilo aimed at raising the educational achievements of Native Hawaiian children throughout the state, will be hosting the “Learning Opportunities in Medicine Institute,” a two-week residential program held on the UH Hilo campus. Hawaiian students in grades 7-12 from around the state will engage in hands-on field experiences, cultural activities, and personal development designed to show how they can make a difference in their community’s health care system. A Native Hawaiian component will be integrated in all the classes to provide students with Hawaiian role models, culture, values, history, protocol, and language. Speakers will include experts in the fields of medicine and health care from UH Hilo’s College of Pharmacy and Department of Nursing, the John A. Burns School of Medicine Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence, and the Health Careers Opportunity Program.

These are just a few examples of the way UH Hilo is fostering educational opportunities for a robust rural health care system and revitalized local economy.

For more updates about UH Hilo, visit my blog.

Aloha,
Don Straney

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Annual UH food drive under way

Aloha,

The annual University of Hawai‘i systemwide food drive is officially under way and runs through April 27, 2012.

The Campus & Community Service (CCS) Program is currently collecting food and monetary donations from UH Hilo students, staff and faculty on behalf of the Big Island’s East Hawai‘i Food Basket. The Food Basket collects and distributes nutritious, high quality food to low income households,  the working poor, the disabled, the ill, senior citizens, children’s programs and other charitable organizations.

Collection containers can be found at various departments throughout campus with the final pick up scheduled for April 27. Should a department fill up its container prior to the collection date, please contact CCS at (808) 974-7381 or e-mail talaite[at]hawaii[dot]edu to arrange an early pick up.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this worthy cause to assist the needy in our Big Island communities.

Don Straney

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Column by the Chancellor in UH Hilo’s Newsletter: Ka Lono Hanakahi, April 2012

Message from University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Ka Lono Hanakahi, UH Hilo’s Faculty and Staff Newsletter
April 2012

Partnering with UH community colleges to strengthen Hawai‘i’s future

Last fall in this column I wrote about a report by Complete College America stating that by 2020, 68% of jobs in Hawai‘i will require a career certificate or college degree, but currently only 41% of adults have a college degree. The gap: 27%. For a strong economy, the report states, the skills gap must be closed. We simply will not have enough skilled workers to meet the needs of our economy unless many more college and university students graduate.

One way the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is addressing this challenge is by collaborating with the UH community colleges to facilitate seamless transfers into UH Hilo—for example, by giving students “road maps” to use when they begin their college education at Hawai‘i Community College (HawCC) so they will have a plan on how to transfer and achieve baccalaureate degrees at UH Hilo.

Two UH Hilo degrees offered in the HawCC-UH Hilo “pathways” program are Administration of Justice and Business Administration. Currently in discussion for the Pathway Program are HawCC’s Digital Media Arts degree, which would lead into UH Hilo’s BA in Art, and HawCC’s Tropical Forest Ecosystem and Agroforestry Management program leading into UH Hilo agricultural degrees.

HawCC’s Ola Hāloa Hawai‘i Life Styles Program is a part of a proposed initiative by all seven UH community colleges to establish an Associate of Arts in Hawaiian Studies (AAHS) on each campus. The program will provide a smooth transition for students who wish to study indigenous Hawaiian culture and language at the community colleges, earn an associate of arts degree, then transfer to one of UH’s four-year universities. Pending UH Board of Regents approval, the new AAHS program will start in the fall of this year. HawCC and UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language are already working together to support students taking classes on both campuses to earn their degrees.

HawCC is proposing an Associate of Science in Natural Science (ASNS) degree to address the needs of students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Students can use the ASNS degree in natural science to better prepare their science backgrounds or in preparation for transfer to a bachelor of science program at a four-year institution. The proposed degree will provide focused advising and appropriate course sequencing for successful transfer of our students. Collaboration with UH Hilo will be the main focus of this HawCC degree.

I’m also happy to report that UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) is finalizing a state-wide articulation agreement with the UH community colleges that includes 30+ agriculture courses. Credit from Hawai‘i, Kauai, Leeward, and Windward community colleges and Maui College courses can be transferred or substituted in lieu of courses at UH Hilo. This is great news as interest in the community college agriculture programs has increased due to promotion of “local first” advocacy in the culinary programs. Those students will now be able to articulate to UH Hilo to earn degrees. I would like to acknowledge CAFNRM Acting Dean Bruce Mathews for his vision and leadership in this system-wide initiative.

The UH Hilo Marine Science program is working with Maui College so students can earn UH Hilo Marine Science degrees while mostly staying on Maui. They are taking some courses via Polycom delivery with an ability to interact both ways. For the signature experience of our Marine Science program, where students learn how to design and conduct scientific research in the ocean, Maui students join Hilo students so they can learn directly from the highly research-active faculty of UH Hilo. A framework is being built so that online delivery of marine science classes could be possible in the future to other parts of the island and state.

To address the future needs of our economy, UH Hilo views our partnerships and collaborations with UH community colleges as an important component in being able to successfully provide higher education to the people of the island and state.

For more news about UH Hilo, visit my blog.

Aloha,
Don Straney

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